And forgive me for sounding superficial because they are all beautiful, but do you know what I’m looking closely at? Their clothes. Their hair. Their tattoos. Their nail polish. Their shoes. Their bags. Their jewelry.
Maybe it’s part of the nesting thing, but in taking on this new pregnancy identity, I’m reminded of my original one: woman. And part of being a woman, and an earthy woman at that, is expressing myself through all those things above. While my style is by no means haute couture, I do have a style. It’s somewhere on the spectrum of hippie to rock and roll; I like flowy skirts and natural gemstones, but I also love skinny jeans with kitten heels and something off-the-shoulder, maybe cobalt blue, maybe with a chain belt …
I am shopping in my mind right now because I have a shopping trip coming up next weekend with my best friend of 16 years, the person I trust most in this world to accurately thumbs-up or thumbs-down any of my dressing room experiments. I haven’t bought anything new in months, and while I’m not ready for maternity clothes yet, 1) at 17 weeks, my pants and skirts are getting a little tighter, and 2) I need a pick-me-up.
It might be even worse than that.
I got my second tattoo last summer, to celebrate both the publication of my first book and turning 30. It’s perfectly placed on my right forearm, a scaled-down replica of the tribal, female-curvy hourglass from my book’s cover that reminds me to “respect the process.” I’ve been considering another one ever since, but that urge has hit fever pitch now that I’m pregnant. Knowing I can’t get inked again until well after the baby comes has only made it worse. (Full disclosure: I’ll admit this on a public blog, but not to my own doc because I’m afraid she’ll think I’m asking her if it’s OK to get tattooed while pregnant, which I know it isn’t, and that she’ll think I’m a terrible and/or stupid person. I blame the hormones for my neuroses.)
Still. I want to do something crazy! Not unhealthy or reckless, just different. Edgy. But me, you know? I want to still be young and fashionable and look like myself, only better. I want to evolve with pregnancy, not (only) because of it. Change is coming — very noticeable physical change. I embrace it, but I want control over some of it.
Random: Why do so many new moms cut all their hair off? The answer I usually hear is so baby can’t grab onto it, or that it’s more manageable. But what’s more manageable than a messy bun? I don’t want to cut my hair off. And I like my color and don’t want any more of a commitment than the semi-permanent, cover-the-grays (yes, I have grays, thanks Dad’s side of the family) touching up I do every few months.
If anyone tells me to switch my part or try cute clips, I will scream.
Clothes it is then. Bestie and I will exhaust ourselves trying things on for hours — my prediction is that York area thrift stores will be making a killing off us — then go out for our fave dinner: (cooked!) sushi. I have all the hope in the world that I’ll find some righteous clothes, even when I do start wandering into maternity departments.
As for tattoo fever? I need to take a chill pill and respect the process.